Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dear Congress, Please 'Make the World a Better Place'

Illustration from student at South Valley Prep School
Last year, children at All Saints Lutheran Church, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church and St. John XXIII Catholic Community wrote letters on paper plates urging our congressional representatives to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, which was the subject of Bread for the World's 2015 Offering of Letters.

We counted the children's messages among the nearly 2,000 letters that were written in New Mexico to our Congressional representatives and senators. And Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham took notice.

Young people in Albuquerque are participating in this year's Offering of Letters, entitled "Survive and Thrive." Like last year's topic, children identify very closely with this year's campaign, which urges Congress to support funding for global nutrition programs for mothers and children. 

Thanks to the inspiration and efforts of Jessica Swan and Mary Ann Holland, elementary and middle school children at South Valley Preparatory School (SVPS) and Holy Ghost Catholic School wrote messages to Rep. Lujan Grisham, Sen. Tom Udall and Sen. Martin Heinrich.

Swan and Holland are both  members of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community, and they coordinated the writing efforts at the school with the church's Offering of Letters in March of this year. Holland is a retired faculty member from Holy Ghost school and coordinator of the Care for Creation program at the school.

Students wrote 112 messages at SVPS and 60 at Holy Ghost School, adding to the totals for Holy Rosary community, which were surpassed 500 letters and post cards.

Many of the children who wrote the messages at SVPS come from low-income families. "These students can receive breakfast, lunch and dinner at school," said Ellen Buelow, a local leader for Bread for the World who has organized the Offering of Letters at Holy Rosary for many years. "Jessica supplies organic food to a number of South Valley schools, and she inspired these middle schoolers to write."

The website for the Rio Grande Development Corporation has a nice article on the work of David and Jessica Swan in the community. Here are couple of paragraphs.

Photo; From Swan Kitchen Facebook page
Most everyone remembers elementary and middle school hot lunches. Standing in line at the cafeteria, facing your three lunch ladies, having some food plopped on your try, and getting those cute little milk cartons. Often times we devoured our processed pizza squares and nachos, with an option to get processed fruits and most likely GMO veggies on the side. This is the scene I picture when I think of the traditional hot school lunch.

The school lunch experience is certainly a different one for kids buying lunches at Cien Aguas International School. Thanks to the passion and dedication of Swan Kitchen and Cien Aguas International School officials, hot lunches at Cien Aguas International School are prepared and served by Swan Kitchen using only fresh, fair, organic and local foods of New Mexico.  See full article.  Connect with Swan Kitchen on Facebook 

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